A Buyer's quick guide to real estate:
Maintain a good credit score! See the financing section below because good credit makes the world go 'round--even if you're paying cash.
Have consistent, documented income and paperwork to prove it. Lenders want to see it all in writing so the easier it is to show and explain the easier it will be on everyone.
Be prepared with a lender, or maybe a few. Real estate in the Pacific Northwest is fast-moving so being prepared with a loan pre-approval helps you budget and makes you more appealing to a seller.
Be prepared with earnest money. Considered a good faith "deposit" towards your purchase to be made once you reach a mutual agreement with a seller, it is held by a third party during the process and protected for you. Only if you break the rules of the contract may you risk losing the deposit.
Know your market. Your agent should understand and manage the details but knowing the basics makes the process less stressful, more rewarding, and can save you money.
Know your agent! Agents are not created equal and while there are plenty of quality agents, there are many who don't understand their market and clients. Take your time, know the person you're dealing with and if it doesn't feel right, you can walk away at any time.
A Seller's quick guide to real estate:
Check for and fix major defects with your property prior to listing as this will save you and everyone time and headache down the road because real estate doesn't like surprises.
Remember, the value of your home is the price another is willing to pay. Online tools can be misleading; in a diverse market the value of your property is subject to many factors.
Fast to market doesn't always mean the best return. This touches on the first point above; if you take the time to prepare for the sale there is usually a greater financial gain.
Again, know your agent! Just as Buyer's must beware, as a Seller you should know who you're working with because after all, you're paying that person for their services.
Financing quick guide:
Banks typically like to see a credit score of 680 and above but 720 or higher gets you the best rates. Don't forget you'll need at least 2 years of provable income! *There are unique programs if you don't meet the standard criteria--asking around is the best way to find out.
Credit Unions can be a great place to shop for a loan and may have more flexibility with unique properties or financial situations.
A 42% debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is a good baseline for gauging your buying power. This is calculated using your fixed monthly expenses (car, credit card, and other payments plus the proposed monthly payment of the property you intend to purchase) divided by your gross monthly income.
It's easy to over-sell yourself or have a bad agent over-sell you too. Just because you're pre-approved for it doesn't mean you have to spend it.
I've been investing in and brokering Washington real estate for over a decade, bringing the often-lost art of business to a contemporary real estate arena. Integrity, efficiency, knowledge, and care are the cornerstones of my work and extended to every consult, client, and transaction.
As a broker for Skyline Properties and Redfin® collaborator I, along with my partner Jin W. Lee approach the industry with a keen understanding of technology and the resources available to tackle each obstacle and ensure success for all involved.
The most important resource in any transaction is great representation, whether individual or with the assistance of another. I strive every day to make my representation the best and most effecive it can be.
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Bellevue, WA 98004
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